Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Teacher Evaluations

I have just finished a workshop on the new teacher evaluations my district will be starting to use next year. Wow! It was a lot of info to digest. My district adopted the Marzano Model, which is based on his book The Art and Science of Teaching. We did a book study on this during professional development, but I'm definitely going to have to go back and reread. There's a LOT to it.
At first everyone is panicking with thoughts like they are going to use this type of evaluation to get rid of teachers. I guess that could happen, if you are not doing what you are supposed to be doing and you are unwilling to change.  The main focus of the evaluation is to recognize strengths and weaknesses of a teacher.  The big thing that is different from our old evaluations is that you are given help to improve your weaknesses. They don't just mark that you need to improve in say classroom climate, they provide things to read and videos to watch that can help you.
The principal may make as many as 10 walkthroughs a year lasting from 5-10 minutes and then for tenured teachers there is one formal evaluation with a pre and post conference. If I understood correctly all of the evaulations, even the walkthroughs will be done on a laptop and you will get immediate feedback.
The man that was leading the class made the statement that in the past 95% of teachers would get the highest marks with the old system. It's like he said what other field do you know that 95% of the workers are truly working at the l=highest level. I think when we are held to higher standards more people will look at teachers in a more professional light.
This system has 4 domains that correlate to Bloom's Taxonomy. In our training we focused on Domain 1 which is Classroom Strategies and Behaviors. Under Domain 1 there 41 instructional categories that are organized into 9 Design Quetions and then the design questions are grouped into  3 Lesson Segments 1.Involving Routine Events 2.Addressing Content 3. Enacted on the Spot. It sounds daunting, but the presenter stated over and over that principals will not expect to see all 41 classroom strategies in a walkthrough or the formal evaluation, maybe not even in the year.
As the principal watches, he/she is rating you in the different instructional categories as
  • Not Using - Strategy is called for, but not seen
  • Beginning - Uses Strategy incorrectly or with parts missing
  • Developing 
  • Applying 
  • Innovating - Adapts and creates new strategies for unique student needs and situations.   
 The big difference between Developing and Applying is whether the teacher is monitoing the class for understanding, behavior, etc... Many teachers were getting hung up with new strategies to move to Innovating. They were taking it literally like the teacher would come up with a strategy newer seen or used before. Now I know teachers are a creative group, but I think that is pushing it a little. We never got a good answer to the question when it was asked, but I'm pretty sure, it just means if things aren't working you change strategies to get the lesson on track.
So this may not be anything that anyone wants to read, but I did it partly for my own benefit. I was the only one form my school that attended and I'm sure I will be expected to give a report  when we get back to school. I thought this would help me remember for later on.
Have a great day and THUNDER UP!!!!!


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  1. It sounds interesting. Hopefully it will inspire instead of cause stress. :)

    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  2. Just found your happy I did. My district is also switching to the Marzano model next year and we are all trying to wrap our heads around it. Our administrators are going to use something called iobserve that matches up with Marzano to record our observations. Crazy stuff and alot to think about! Would love to continue to hear your thoughts and ideas on your blog :)

    Growing Up Teaching

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